They made a toast. It was a toast with hot chocolate to “now and forever, good days and bad.” I am not really sure where they heard that phrase, but it was pretty cute coming from the lips of a 6 and 9 year old. It was the start of a particular Christmas that would be forever be imprinted on their little minds. We hung ornaments of gold and cranberry as the smell of “Red Apple Wreath” burned from a candle on top of the mantle. As we strung gold glitter beads on the tree Bing Crosby ushered us into the most wonderful time of the year with tunes of old. I watched as they hummed and bopped their heads to the melodies coming from the iPod, wondering if they had any clue that the destiny of their lives was about to be completely altered. At least that is what we are praying for.
In just a few weeks the state of Connecticut via a social worker and psychologist will inform them that they will be adopted and will not be able to see their biological parents for at least a couple of years (contingent on my parents decision to reunite them when the time is right). Their lives as they know it will change. As settled and secure as they now are in my parents home they still have strong ties to their parents, as any child would and should. We can only hope and pray that when they find out that they will be adopted into the Candelora family that the weight of the world which they carry on their little shoulders will no longer be their burden. We are praying that as they grow up they are able to see that their lives are much better off and that they now have a much better chance to reach their goals. They have a much better chance to be well educated. They have a much better chance to be nourished. And they have a much better chance at life. I am sure that on this journey that beholds them there will be good days and bad. Days of feeling loved, and days of feeling abandoned. Days of feeling secure and days of feeling unstable. Days of thankfulness and days of resent.
As their eyes glistened in awe of lighting that Christmas tree, we cuddled up together on the couch. With hot chocolate in hand and the light of candles in the fire place, we watched an old-time favorite of “The Grinch who stole Christmas.” We laughed together. We smiled together. We snuggled together. And we toasted together.
To now and to forever, good days and bad.